26 Apr 08
The WRC television crews drove the Jordan Rally stages before the event to choose the best camera positions. Here are their descriptions of Saturday's four stages.
SS9/13 - Turki - 14.13km
The first stage of the day starts with a tight section that is fairly fast and flowing. There is a lot of loose gravel which the first cars will sweep away. At the 1.5km point there's a scary section which will be extremely quick. It runs along on the edge of a hill with a big drop on the other side. At 2.6km the road narrows. It stays fast for a couple of kilometres but it's twisty and there are some patches of asphalt so grip levels vary. From 5km there's more loose gravel on the road again and it opens out to be much quicker, then heads downhill fast. The last 10k run next to a main road. There's lots of gravel and another sequence of corners but only a few tight turns.
SS10/14 - Erak Alamir - 12.47km
Not an easy stage. It's hard to find any sort of driving rhythm because there are so many different sections. The first five kilometres are extremely twisty and tight, with long sequences of linked corners. Between 5.2km and 6.2km the surface changes from gravel to asphalt and it gets faster. The surface is broken and there's a giant pot hole right in the middle of the fastest corner that will unsettle the cars. There's no run-off here in case of mistakes, instead there are big dirt walls either side of the road. At 6.3km the road goes over a blind crest and heads downhill. For the next 2km there are huge drop offs and lots of blind corners and crests - with so much gravel on the road it's hard to judge braking points here. At 8.6km there's a 1ft deep water splash with a steep exit that that could cause front end damage. From 8km to 10.5km it runs steeply uphill with lots of hairpin corners and then along a ridge - it's much cleaner so the grip will be better for the front runners but there are some little gravel patches that could catch them out. It's a fast, undulating piece of road and on one side it's a long way down. The last 2km is a bit wider with longer, faster corners and lots of gravel.
SS11/15 - Shuna - 15.19km
About half of this stage was run in the reverse direction as part of SS2/SS6 on day one. It will be interesting to see if the surface starts to get torn up after the previous runs. It starts tight and twisty then heads down into a gorge. At the bottom of the gorge, at 1.2km, the road runs over a steeply angled concrete culvert. Then there's a short steep uphill section with some tight back-to-back hairpins and hair-raising drop offs. From 1.8km to 3.3km the road gets faster as it runs along a ridge line then goes downhill - steeply in places - with lots of hairpins and s-bends to the 6.8km point. For the next 3km the road gets faster. It's still twisty but not as tight and it flows a bit better. Between 9.2km and 13.6km the road is up and down like a rollercoaster. There are lots of blind crests and massive drops on the left of the road. You do not want to go off here. It runs along a ridgeline for the last 2km. It flows fairly well but is tight and technical in places.
SS12/16 - Baptism Sight - 13.13km
This complete stage was run in reverse on Friday as SS1/SS4, so it remains to be seen how much the road surface will deteriorate - if at all. After 300m the road turns a 90 degree right onto a kilometre of dead straight patchy asphalt where the cars will easy reach their top speed. Braking at the end could be interesting. From 1.7km to 3.8km it stays fast, then there's a complex of tight corners from 3.8km to 4.2km. There's a very fast short asphalt strip a couple of kilometres later. From there to the 11km mark it's very fast. There's not much gravel and the hard packed surface is almost like asphalt, the corners flow well, with minimal crests. There's a watersplash 3km before the finish, then it's a short dash to the line up a short and twisty road.